Posted by Sascha Kelly
Friday 11th January, 2013

NMC DAY FIVE: DIVERTISSEMENT

By Day 5, everyone is finding their rhythm at camp.

Breakfast starts at 7.30 and the same faces arrive early every day. When the Arts Admin participants clear out, you know the first bus is leaving in 5 minutes. We have found our favourite coffee shops (for me - Campos, The Hub), our favourite places to practice and the best running route around the river. (This writer however has hit snooze on the alarm for the last two mornings, so can no longer be so smug).

No two days at camp are ever the same. The Annual Cricket Match of Staff versus Students was scheduled for Thursday afternoon. At 6pm, the pilgrimage to the cricket field began. The constantly warping and reshaping student team was directed by the first female captain in the history of AYO National Music Camp. The fielders spilt out onto the pitch, awaiting their opponents.

The staff team took a bit more time to arrive from dinner. If it was a manoeuvre to intimidate, it might have worked. In their absence, anxiety spread, and rumours circled. Is it true the staff team are on a performance enhancing diet? Is it true that Libby Wallfisch has skills not limited to the concert stage?

And then the game began. Both teams played valiantly, and both faced obstacles during the course of the match. A brass contingent formed a human barrier, edging closer and closer during the staff team’s innings.  The student team might have suspected slight bias from the umpire, Maestro Bruno Weil. Tempers ran high at times, with some manhandling involved. Sound Production tutor and score keeper Jim Atkins occasionally ran onto the pitch to give some words of wisdom to Maestro Weil, after a few dubious decisions.

In the end, the staff team proved too strong. It could have been the dedicated afterhours training program or it may have been due to their strict diet. It could have been that like every AYO NMC cricket match, cricket rules were treated more like suggested guidelines. The students trailed home with their tails between their legs, having failed to prove themselves. But a small group declared their intentions to bring the fire in 2014. We wait with bated breath.

- Sascha Kelly

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